woman smiling with child

Project to be implemented  through consortium led by Amref Health Africa in partnership with Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, the Hospital for Sick Children’s Centre for Global Child Health and WaterAid Canada

July 9, 2015:  TORONTO and OTTAWA – Amref Health Africa in Canada will lead a $29.3 million five-year project to improve the health of mothers and their children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania, $24.9 million of which is provided by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).  The announcement was made in Toronto by The Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development.

“We applaud the Government of Canada for its contribution to improving maternal, newborn and child health. Amref Health Africa has nearly 60 years of experience partnering with local communities, governments and health workers in sub-Saharan Africa to build stronger health systems,” said Anne-Marie Kamanye, Executive Director, Amref Health Africa in Canada. “From the very start of a project, we recognize the importance of local ownership and sustainability so health changes will last for generations.”

Amref Health Africa is working in partnership with other leading Canadian charities focused on mother and child health: Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and WaterAid Canada (formerly WaterCan). Each partner brings its expertise to the project. Amref Health Africa will build stronger health systems and improve human resources for health across all four countries. CCFC will work to strengthen the regional health systems in Ethiopia, reducing the burden of diseases and improving nutrition.  SickKids will serve as the academic partner providing advisory support for monitoring and evaluation and will also be responsible for capacity building through Nursing Education, and WaterAid will provide clean water, basic sanitation, and hygiene education in Tanzania.

“The health and protection of mothers and children is critical to our mission,” says Mark Lukowski, Chief Executive Officer at Christian Children’s Fund of Canada. “We are excited to be working with other Canadian organizations to create a world where children, families and communities in developing countries can see beyond poverty and take the lead in their own change.”

Over 1.7 million people are expected to benefit directly from the project, including 1 million women of reproductive age and more than 650,000 children under the age of five. More than 1.4 million additional people are expected to benefit indirectly.

“The SickKids Centre for Global Child Health looks forward to working in partnership over the next 5 years. We will bring sound academic counsel and our expertise in sustainable capacity building through education to this project,” said Dr. Stanley Zlotkin, Chief, SickKids Centre for Global Child Health.

To accomplish the results, the project will train health workers in reproductive, newborn and child health services as well as best practices in sanitation and hygiene, refurbish health facilities, deliver essential equipment and medicines to health facilities, and enable comprehensive health education –including nutrition, clean water, sanitation and hygiene – in communities throughout East Africa.

“We are pleased to be contributing WaterAid’s 44 years of expertise to this collaborative project led by Amref Health Africa in Canada. The need for clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities may seem obvious and yet it is startlingly rare in developing countries,” said Acting Chief Executive Officer Andrea Helfer. “This investment will save lives and continue to drive the positive change resulting from Canada’s commitment to maternal, newborn and child health.”


For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jennifer Foulds, Amref Health Africa in Canada, (416) 961-6981; (647) 771-5815 (cell); email

Bonar Bell, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, (905) 754-1001; (416) 898-6770 (cell); email

Tanya Reid, The Hospital for Sick Children, (416) 813-7654 ext. 228916; (647) 531-4595 (cell),email

Graham Milner, WaterAid Canada, (613) 230-5182 ext. 226; (613) 866-8646 (cell); email

About Amref Health Africa (@AMREFCanada) Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and with more than 55 years of experience, Amref Health Africa is the leading African public health organization. Recipients of both the Bill and Melinda Gates Award for Global Health and the Hilton Humanitarian Prize, Amref Health Africa partners with communities to improve health. Amref Health Africa tackles some of the most critical health challenges facing the continent: maternal and child care, HIV, TB and malaria, clean water and sanitation, and surgical and clinical outreach.

About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (@CCFCanada) Christian Children’s Fund of Canada is a member of ChildFund Alliance, a worldwide group of 12 child-centered development organizations working in 58 countries to implement long-lasting and meaningful changes for children and families. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. In 2014, CCFC was named one of Canada’s ‘Top 25’ Charities by the Financial Post, for high standards in accountability, transparency and efficiency.

About The Hospital for Sick Children (@SickKidsGlobal) The SickKids Centre for Global Child Health provides a dedicated hub for global child health-focused activities and connects researchers and health care professionals around the world. The centre is dedicated to improving the lives of children and their families in resource-poor environments through collaboration in groundbreaking research, sustainable capacity building through education, the active communication of results through advocacy, and through promoting improved child health through knowledge and networks.

About WaterAid Canada (@WaterAidCanada) WaterAid is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping the world’s poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with toilets and sanitation.  WaterAid was recently ranked by GuideStar’s Philanthropedia as the number one international non-profit working in the water and sanitation sector.